canning and preserving Archive

Cranberry Sauce with Juniper and Orange

When it comes to Thanksgiving, I’m a total traditionalist. I don’t stray far from the classics, and I stick with what I know and love. My Thanksgiving table usually includes the following items: a turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, sweet potatoes, stuffing, Brussels sprouts and/or green beans, cranberry sauce, my Grandma’s rolls, and a green salad. I wasn’t lying when I said I’m a traditionalist. This is a very typical Thanksgiving spread.

Granted, that doesn’t mean that I do the things the same way every year. On the contrary, I’m always looking to improve and update the Thanksgiving classics. While I insist that there must be cranberry sauce on the table every Thanksgiving, I don’t want the same old cranberry sauce every single year. So, I try to switch things up a bit every year.

This year, I decided to can my own cranberry sauce. I adore cranberry sauce and am often frustrated by the fact that you can only find it in stores during the holidays. If given the option, I would probably eat a turkey cranberry sandwich for lunch every day of the year. I also love cranberry sauce when it’s baked with brie cheese and wrapped in puff pastry. I love cranberry hand pies. You get the idea…

So, I decided to make a big batch of cranberry sauce to last me through the winter. I tried out a few different cranberry sauces this year and I eventually settled on this recipe. It’s lovely. The Juniper berries give the sauce a really interesting hint of fresh, green pine. The orange juice adds balance and brightness. And, the honey and brown sugar combine to round out the sauce and give it just the right amount of sweetness. (Note: This cranberry sauce is quite tart, but you could easily up the sugar levels depending on your taste and preference.)

Whatever your holiday traditions may be, I’d encourage you to include this cranberry sauce on your Thanksgiving table this year. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised.

Lastly, tune in this Sunday, November 24th, to KPAM 860 for Missy Maki’s Ultimate Oregon Thanksgiving Show! I’ll be on air – along with a group of fantastic food bloggers – and we’ll be talking about our Ultimate Oregon Thanksgiving recipes. It’s going to be a blast, so be sure to listen in!

Happy (almost) Thanksgiving!

Cranberry Sauce with Orange and Juniper | Rosemarried

Cranberry Sauce with Juniper and Orange

Serving Size: 6 pints

Ingredients

  • 12 cups fresh organic cranberries
  • 3 cups orange juice
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 2 tablespoons dried juniper berries
  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • The zest of 1 orange
  • 3/4 cup honey
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar

Instructions

  1. Wash and sterilize jars and lids and prepare a hot water bath for canning.
  2. With a mortar and pestle, crush and grind the dried Juniper berries.
  3. In a large pot, cook 10 cups of cranberries (reserve 2 cups for later), orange juice, wine, rosemary, and orange zest. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes.
  4. Add in most of the honey and brown sugar, and stir. Taste the sauce and add the rest of the honey and sugar, if needed. (I found that even with the honey and brown sugar, the sauce is still quite tart.) Add additional juniper, rosemary, or orange juice if necessary.
  5. Simmer until sauce thickens and reaches desired consistency, stirring occasionally. (15+ minutes)
  6. Once the sauce has thickened to your liking, add the remaining 2 cups of cranberries. Raise the heat and bring the mixture to a boil. Stir occasionally and cook for 5 minutes.
  7. Fill hot, sterilized jars with the cranberry sauce, leaving 1/4″ of head space. Remove air bubbles, wipe down the rims of the jars, and place lids and rings on each jar. Process in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes.

Notes

Adapted from Local Kitchen Blog

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Chipotle Fig Jam

I’ve been a canning fiend for the past couple of weeks.

Blame it on the changing of seasons, but I feel a strong urge to pickle and preserve all of the summer fruits and veggies that I possibly can. Most of the things I’ve canned and pickled recently are your typical summer canning fare: canned peaches, refrigerator dill pickles, plain tomato sauce. These are the jars that will get me through the winter months. They are my pantry staples.

However, it is my firm belief that among the staples there’s got to be a few surprises! Hence, why I made this jam: it’s unexpected. It’s spicy, rich, sweet, and smoky.

This jam is phenomenal on biscuits or breakfast sandwiches. (Note: my favorite breakfast sandwich combo of all time is made with prosciutto, caramelized onions, fried egg, Beecher’s white cheddar, dijon, and fig jam. Try it. I promise, it’s awesome.) This jam is also great with plain Greek yogurt or slathered on baguette with goat cheese.

It’s just one of those jams, it’s good with (most) everything.

Chipotle Fig Jam

Serving Size: 4 half pints

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs (Black Mission or Brown Turkish) figs, roughly chopped
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 or 2 chipotles in adobo, roughly chopped

Instructions

  1. Place chopped figs and sugar in a large, non-reactive pot. Stir, and allow the figs to macerate for 30-60 minutes.
  2. After the figs have macerated for 30+ minutes, stir in water, chipotles, and lemon juice, and bring the mixture to a boil over med-high heat. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and allow to simmer for at least an hour. Stir occasionally. (Note: use a potato masher to further break down the figs. Mash until desired consistency is achieved.)
  3. Meanwhile, sterilize jars and prepare a hot water bath.
  4. After an hour, check the jam’s consistency. If the mixture is thick and jammy, it is ready. Ladle the jam into clean, hot jars. Process in a hot water bath for 10 minutes.

Notes

Slightly adapted from Homemade Trade

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Slow Cooker Blueberry Plum Butter

Canning in the summertime presents a funny conundrum.

On the one hand, this is the best time of year to preserve fruits and vegetables. We are in the peak of summer and farms and gardens are bursting with an amazing array of fruits, vegetables, and herbs. The fields are plentiful. My fridge and pantry are full of the goodness of summer. This is a wonderful time of year.

On the other hand, there is the issue of warm weather and the unbearable temperature of my kitchen. My kitchen is, by far, the hottest room in my house. So let me tell you,
the idea of firing up the ole canning pot on a hot August afternoon sounds ludicrous to me.
When it’s sweltering outside, I would rather not hang out with boiling pots of water and jam.

Thankfully, there is good news. There’s always the option of the slow cooker. Granted, you cannot actually can or preserve using a slow cooker. You must process jars in boiling water, which requires a large pot and a stovetop. There’s just no getting around it. However, you can make your jam or preserves in a slow cooker, which drastically cuts down the amount of stove time. This, in turn, drastically reduces the sweltering temperatures in my kitchen. And, for that, I’m thankful.

This recipe is incredibly simple and yet, it is so rewarding. The blueberry butter is smooth, luscious, and full of the flavors of summer. And through the simple act of canning, I can enjoy these summery flavors all year long.

Slow Cooker Blueberry Plum Butter

Ingredients

  • 10 cups fresh blueberries
  • 4 large black plums
  • 2 cups white sugar
  • Zest and juice of one lemon

Instructions

  1. Wash and drain blueberries. Remove any stems, leaves, or debris. Cut the plums in quarters and remove the pits.
  2. Using a food processor, puree the blueberries and plums. Process until smooth. (You should end up with 8 cups or so of puree.)
  3. In a slow cooker, cook the fruit puree on high heat for one hour. After one hour, stir the butter and crack the lid for the remainder of the cooking time. (This allows steam & water to escape so the butter reduces and thickens!).
  4. Cook the butter on low heat for 6 (or more) hours. (Note: slow cookers do vary depending on size, brand, etc.) Stir the butter once an hour.
  5. In the final hour of cooking, add the sugar, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Stir well. Turn the heat up to high and continue to cook with the lid slightly ajar.
  6. Meanwhile, prepare your canning jars and lids. Sterilize jars and lids by boiling in hot water for 10 (or more) minutes. Keep the jars in hot water until ready to use.
  7. Once the butter is thick and creamy (similar in thickness and texture to ketchup), it is ready for canning! (Note: I pureed my butter with an immersion blender at this point in the process, because I wanted it to be super smooth. I highly recommend it!)
  8. Remove jars from the canning pot and fill with butter. Wipe the rims with a clean, dry cloth. Seal jars with lids and rings and place back in the canning pot. Bring the water back to a boil and process the jars for 10 minutes.
  9. Remove jars from the canning pot and place on a dry towel or rack to cool. After the jars have cooled, check to ensure that all jars sealed properly. If properly sealed, jars may be kept on the shelf or in your pantry for 6-12 months. (If they did not seal properly, the jars can be stored in the fridge and will keep for a week or two.)

Notes

Slightly adapted from Simple Bites

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http://rosemarried.com/2013/08/19/slow-cooker-blueberry-plum-butter/


Pickled Blueberries

I’m a big fan of pickles in general. I love the taste (and crunch!) of a good pickle. A good pickle is salty, briny, and complex. Plus, pickles are a fantastic way to preserve summer crops.

But pickled fruit? This is entirely new territory for me. I’ve always limited my pickling to vegetable varieties: cucumbers, carrots, beets, jalapenos, onions, and more.

However, thanks to the PDX Food Swap, I’ve come to love pickled fruits. At the last few swaps I’ve come home with a number of jars of pickles fruits or berries – apples, figs, apricots, rhubarb, etc – and I’ve been pleasantly surprised with them all. Pickled fruit is a delightful mix of sweet and salty, bright and briny. It’s balanced and complex.

I’ve been eating these pickled blueberries straight out of the jar. (That’s how good they are.) But, if you’d like a few suggestions on how to use these little gems, I’d suggest trying them with crackers and goat cheese. Or, toss them on a wedge salad. Let me tell you, the blue cheese dressing and the briny blueberries are a match made in food heaven.

Pickled Blueberries | Rosemarried.com

Pickled Blueberries

Serving Size: Fills 4 half-pint jars

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup agave syrup (or 1/4 cup honey)
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 1 lb blueberries
  • 1/4 of a red onion, sliced thin
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon whole dried allspice berries
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns

Instructions

  1. Clean and sterilize your jars and lids. Set on a rack to dry while you prepare the pickling liquid.
  2. In a small pot, mix together the vinegars, agave, salt, and spices. Heat over medium heat for 5-10 minutes, or until the salt is dissolved. Remove from heat.
  3. Pack each jar with blueberries and red onion slices. Pour the warm vinegar mixture over the blueberries. Use a spoon to distribute the spices evenly into each jar.
  4. Cap each jar and allow the jars to cool to room temperature before moving them to the fridge. The blueberries should keep in the fridge for 30 days.

Notes

Adapted from Of Agates and Madelines

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Foraged Nettle Pesto

I’ve been making a concerted effort to get out into nature more often. To unplug and leave the city; to get away from it all. It’s been awesome.

Last week, the husband and I ventured into the Columbia River Gorge to look for morel mushrooms. Let me tell you right now, this not nearly as cool as it sounds. We are complete amateurs and have no idea what we’re doing. We searched and searched for hours and didn’t find a single morel. However, our foraging efforts were not in vain, as we did find a whole bunch of stinging nettles.

If you’re wary about the idea of eating stinging nettles, I don’t blame you one bit. Nettles are designed to inflict pain and injury! If you’ve ever been stung by a nettle, you know exactly what I’m talking about. They hurt. And yet, here I am, telling you to go into the woods and pick the damn things and eat them. It sounds insane, I know.

nettles

But I’m telling you, give nettles a chance. These prickly little plants are remarkably good for you. According to the Examiner, nettles are “high in potassium, iron, sulphur, vitamin C, vitamin A and B complex vitamins nettles provide a high amount of dense nutrition with very little calories. The sulphur makes them great for the hair, skin, and nails.” All that to say, nettles are a superfood.

So, now that we’ve established that nettles are a superfood, we should discuss harvesting nettles. Here’s the thing about foraging for nettles: they are everywhere. They grow like weeds, literally. Nettles aren’t hard to find, but they are slightly complicated to pick & cook. Here’s my advice: wear gloves (when picking) and use tongs (when cooking). When picking nettles in the wild, be sure to wear gloves and store the nettles in a paper or plastic bag (nothing with holes or mesh!). The smaller the nettle, the more tender the leaves. I’ve read that nettles are best picked when they are knee height or below. (However, if the nettles are taller, you can just pluck the tops off.)

Stinging Nettle Pesto

Once you’ve picked a bag full of nettles, the sky’s the limit! (Just make sure you don’t attempt to eat nettles in their raw form: you must blanch nettles in boiling water before you can eat them.) Nettles have a flavor similar to spinach, and can be used in a variety of different ways. I’ve made nettle pesto, nettle spanikopita, nettle scrambles, and more.

As for a recipe? I’m going to keep it simple. Here’s what I did: I quickly blanched the nettles in boiling water for 2 minutes. (Note: use tongs to handle the raw nettles!) I then removed the nettles from the boiling water and gave them a quick rinse with cold water (to stop the cooking process). I let them drain in a strainer for a few minutes and then gave them a quick squeeze, to remove any extra moisture. Once drained, I threw them into a food processor with toasted almonds, olive oil, lime juice, 2 cloves of garlic, red chili flakes, salt, and pepper. (Note: For some odd reason, I didn’t have any lemons. So I used a lime and it tasted great!).

I didn’t even bother tossing the pesto with pasta, I just slathered it on slices of crusty bread and ate it alongside some delicious cheeses and pickled veggies. It was perfect.

Roasted Lemon and Shallot Chutney

Five years ago I moved from Los Angeles, CA, to Portland, OR.

It was quite possibly one of the best decisions I’ve ever made, for so many reasons. It didn’t take long for me to fall in love with this city, this state, the atmosphere, the people, all of it. I really love it here.

But it is precisely this time of year that I find myself missing California. I don’t miss the traffic, the smog, the crowds, or the stress. Really, I just miss the California sunshine and the California citrus. For all of Oregon’s greatness, we don’t have much of either of those two things this time of year. (On the other hand, we do have a lot of clouds, rain, kale, and squash. I like all of those things, but I tire of them easily.)

Last week, my mom gave me a really nice gift. My parents recently went to visit my aunt and uncle in Palm Springs, and my mom brought back a bag of Meyer Lemons from my aunt’s lemon tree. She was kind enough to give me a handful of the Meyer lemons, and it made my entire week. (I’m not kidding.)

I knew I needed to make something special with these Meyer lemons, so I decided to make a version of this roasted lemon chutney. The chutney incorporates all parts of the lemon, and the roasting process mellows the bitterness of the lemon. This is a simple and rustic chutney, and I would highly recommend that you slather it on some crusty bread with a dollop of soft cheese.

Roasted Lemon and Shallot Chutney

Ingredients

  • 1 large shallot (or 2 small shallots), roughly chopped
  • 3 Meyer lemons, plus 2 tablespoons of lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup olive oil (plus a bit more for brushing)
  • Sea salt & freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • Optional: 2 tablespoons chopped basil or mint

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 400F.
  2. Wash the lemons and slice into 1/4 inch thick rounds (discard the end pieces). Use a knife (or fingers) to remove the seeds from the lemon slices. Place the lemon slices on the baking sheet and brush with a bit of olive. Sprinkle a touch of sea salt over the lemons.
  3. In a small bowl, toss the chopped shallots with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place on a separate baking sheet (or in a small baking pan). Roast the shallots until they are tender and lightly browned, around 15 minutes. Once the shallots are cooked, remove them from the oven and set aside until needed.
  4. While the shallots are cooking, roast the lemons (on a separate oven rack). Cook the lemons for ten minutes, and then turn them over and continue roasting until they are very tender and are beginning to brown (about 20 minutes total cooking time). Remove the lemons from the oven and set aside to cool.
  5. Once the lemons shallots are cooled, transfer them to a food processor. Add in the olive oil, honey, salt, pepper, and lemon juice. Add a bit at a time and pulse until the mixture comes together (it will look creamy, with a few chunks). Taste and adjust the seasonings until the chutney is to your liking. Allow to sit for 2 hours before serving, to allow the flavors to meld. If adding in chopped herbs, stir them into the chutney right before serving.
  6. The chutney can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to a week. Enjoy!
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A Handmade Holiday, Volume 1: Edible Gifts and Spiced Eggnog with Rum

“Lo, how a Rose e’er blooming from tender stem hath sprung! Of Jesse’s lineage coming, as men of old have sung. It came, a flower bright, amid the cold of winter, when half spent was the night…

This Flower, whose fragrance tender with sweetness fills the air, Dispels with glorious splendor the darkness everywhere; True man, yet very God, from sin and death He saves us, and lightens every load.”
- Lo How a Rose E’er Blooming (My favorite Christmas Carol)

I absolutely love the Christmas season, there’s no getting around it.

I love the baking, the decorations, the gifting, the crafting, the music, the family, the traditions, and the nostalgia of it all.

If only it were as simple as that. But there’s the ugly side of Christmas: The shopping malls, the parking lots, the Black Friday lines. The anxiety, stress, and despair. The wish lists, greed, credit card debt, and consumerism. The poor, the broken, the forgotten, the needy.

It’s all so unsettling.

But three years ago, I watched one short video (from the wonderful folks at The Advent Conspiracy) and it changed the way I do Christmas. The message was so simple and clear: Love All, Spend Less, Give More.

Those six little words pack quite the punch. They’ve given me a new outlook, they’ve given me hope. Christmas is different, in the best way.

And that about sums it up, honestly.

I think I’ll keep it short and sweet, but if you’d like to read more about my thoughts on having a thoughtful and relational Christmas, I encourage you to read my ‘Handmade Holiday’ post from last year.

Below is a list of a few of my favorite ideas for handmade gifts, as well as a recipe for my new favorite winter beverage: Spiced Eggnog with Rum. Also, as a head’s up, I decided to split ‘A Handmade Holiday’ into two posts: Volume 1 is Edible and Foodie Gifts, and Volume 2 (which I will post in the next day or two) is Crafts and (Non-Food) Projects.

I hope that these links and ideas inspire you to give fun and thoughtful gifts. I’m including a recipe for eggnog, which I plan on making for family and friends on Christmas day (and I may give a few mason jars of eggnog away as gifts as well!).

All that to say, Merry Christmas!


A HANDMADE HOLIDAY, VOLUME 1: SPICED EGGNOG WITH RUM AND A ROUNDUP OF DIY EDIBLE GIFTS!

(Scroll down to see my list of handmade edible gift ideas!)

Spiced Eggnog with Rum
(Adapted from Season with Spice)
Makes 4 small servings

Ingredients:
4 egg yolks
1/3 cup evaporated cane sugar (or white sugar)
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
2 cups whole milk
1/2 a vanilla bean
1 cup of heavy whipping cream
Rum, to taste (the amount of booze really depends upon your preference!)

Method:
1. In a small pot, heat milk on medium-low. Scrape the seeds out of the vanilla bean and stir into the milk. Stir occasionally, until small bubbles appear along the edges (about 5 minutes). Remove the pot from heat and set aside.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Slowly pour half of the heated milk into the egg mixture, whisking constantly (to prevent cooking/curdling). Pour the milk & egg mixture back into the pot and stir to combine.
3. Return the pot to the stove and cook the mixture over low heat. Stir constantly, and be careful not to overcook the mixture. Let it cook over low heat until it thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon (about 10 minutes). Remove from heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
4. Layer the bottom of a large bowl with ice cubes, and set a small metal bowl inside (atop the ice cubes). Pour mixture through a strainer into the small, metal bowl (this will clarify the mixture and remove any odd egg bits). Once cooled (15 minutes or so), transfer the mixture into a sealed container, and store it in the refrigerator.
5. When you’re ready to serve the egg nog, prepare the whipping cream. Remove chilled cream from the fridge and pour into a bowl. Add a couple of teaspoons of sugar to the whipped cream, and using a stand or hand mixer, beat the cream until it reaches desired consistency (thick, with soft peaks).
6. Gently fold half of the whipped cream into the egg nog. Pour equal amounts of egg nog into 4 glasses, and pour rum (to taste) into each glass. Stir, and top with a dollop of whipped cream and some freshly grated nutmeg.
Note: The eggnog mixture will keep in the fridge for a few days. However, I would wait to add the whipped cream and rum until you’re ready to serve it.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

A DELIGHTFUL COLLECTION OF DIY EDIBLE GIFTS!

*Chipotle Lime Salt
*DIY Cocktail Bitters
*Ginger Carrot Curd
*Homemade Creme de Menthe
*Grapefruit Cranberry Marmelade
*Banana Bread and Honey Butter Gift Basket
*Bourbon Cranberry Sauce
*Crema di Limoncello
*Homemade Vanilla Extract
*Savory Onion Jam
*Candied Clementines
*Rosemary Crackers with Olive Oil and Garlic
*Homemade Irish Cream Liqueur
*Honey Chipotle BBQ Sauce
*Homemade Sriracha Hot Sauce (heck yes!)
*Chai Tea Mix
*Hot Chocolate on a Stick
*Pumpkin Butter
*Balsamic Fig Thyme Jam
*Brandied Cherries
*Hazelnut-Lavender-Coconut Granola
*Maple Cinnamon Granola
*Spice Blend: Herbs De Provence
*DIY Mustard (6 different kinds!)
*Homemade Grenadine Syrup
*Vanilla Sea Salt
*Homemade Curry Powder
*Slow Cooker Apple Butter

Please let me know if you have other edible gift ideas, and I’ll be sure to include them on my list.

Thanks, and happy holidays!